Education Week - April 17, 2019 - 1

Education Week
VOL. 38, NO. 29 * APRIL 17, 2019

AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2019 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 6


Safety Drills
Take Toll on
Some left 'traumatized'
by training tactics

Alyssa Schukar for Education Week

By Evie Blad & Madeline Will

Marianna Ruggerio, a teacher at Auburn High School in Rockford, Ill talks with students in a physics class. Her school district does not offer paid
maternity leave, so she plans to use her sick days, then take unpaid leave after she delivers her second child later this spring.

Teachers Often Back in Class Too Soon After Childbirth
By Madeline Will
Teachers spend their days taking care of
other people's children. But what happens
when they have babies of their own?
Unlike other developed nations, the United
States does not mandate paid parental leave.
And the K-12 education sector is no exception,
despite being dominated by women in their
childbearing years. Just a handful of states,
including Washington and New Jersey, as
well as the District of Columbia, provide
paid parental leave for teachers. And some

individual school districts offer it, too.
But for the most part, teachers have to
cobble together sick days to have some paid
time off with their newborns, and then supplement that with unpaid leave. In a profession that has increasingly been under fire for
low wages, it's another source of frustration
for educators, many of whom say they have to
return to the classroom before they feel ready.
"It's not just the fact that you have a baby,
it's the fact that you're healing physically and
possibly dealing with things emotionally and
mentally as well," said Marianna Ruggerio, a

high school physics teacher in Rockford, Ill.,
who had her second child this month. "I think
there's a lack of recognition of how intense
and difficult that can be."
Yet there are signs that paid family leave
policies for teachers have increasingly been
on the radars of policymakers, who see this
as a recruitment and retention tool. There
are ongoing efforts in Arizona and California to implement paid parental leave policies
for teachers. Last year, Delaware Gov. John
Carney signed into law a bill that gives state

Kaitlyn Dolan for Education Week

K-12 Aid at Stake
In Census Lawsuit
By Mark Walsh

The classroom of the future could bear little resemblance
to the "old school" look prevalent in schools today.
With the influx of mobile technology-laptops, tablets,
and other devices-comes a portability that could free
classrooms from the desk/chair combo, arranged in rows,
and used by millions of students over the decades.
Although it is still common in K-12, there are rumblings
that this workhorse is endangered. And good riddance, say
some school leaders, educational furniture providers, and
industry observers.
What's replacing it is school furniture that may be on
wheels, adjustable for height, less angular, more versatile,

Count educators as part of the population taking a keen interest in a major
U.S. Supreme Court case about whether
President Donald Trump's administration properly added a question about
U.S. citizenship to the 2020 census.
"We are significantly concerned that
big-city students would face horrific
consequences from adding a citizenship question to the census," said Julie
Wright Halbert, the legislative counsel
of the Council of the Great City Schools,
the coalition of 74 of the nation's largest
urban districts. "There is a potential for
a misallocation of huge sums of money."
The council is among several education groups that have filed friend-of-thecourt briefs in Department of Commerce
v. State of New York (Case No. 18-966),
which is set to be argued on April 23.
The arithmetic behind the issue is this:
The decennial census is the foundation
for allocation of billions of dollars of federal aid to states and localities, based on

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By Michele Molnar

Bravo, and Marjorie Vilson attended March for Teachers in Annapolis. PAGE 9

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Classrooms May Soon Shed
Dated Desk/Chair Combo

TEACHER FUNDING: From left, Calverton, Md., teachers Jaclyn Hamson, Gail Gibson, Karree

As schools ramp up active-shooter
drills, some training tactics-especially those meant to simulate real-life
scenarios-are doing more harm than
good, educators and safety experts say.
Stories have sprung up around the
country of law-enforcement officers firing blanks in hallways to demonstrate
the sound of gunfire, pelting teachers
with projectiles, and showing video
footage from actual shootings as part
of their staff-training exercises. In a
recent drill in Indiana, teachers were
shot execution-style with plastic pellets,
leaving some with welts and bruises.
These experiences, educators say, can
be physically and emotionally painful
and don't necessarily prepare anyone
for an actual school shooting, which
happens rarely.
"I felt more traumatized than trained,"
said Elizabeth Yanelli, a teacher in Cranberry Township, Pa., who went through
an active-shooter drill a few years ago
in which teachers were shot with airsoft guns so they could practice stopping a shooter in the cafeteria. "We had
colleagues shooting colleagues, we had
people getting hit with [plastic] pellets.
... People were screaming, trying to run.

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